Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

(On DVD, December 2004) Whatever your expectations for this film, they’re likely to be challenged. Billed as a comedy in which Elvis and John F. Kennedy battle an evil Egyptian mummy in their retirement home, Bubba Ho-Tep also ends up being a surprisingly effective dramatic meditation on old age and getting the most out of life. Who would have thought? The low budget takes its toll on the film (especially at the end, and in the clumsy way it’s all edited together), but the able performance of geek-legend Bruce Campbell as the ageing Elvis is worth the price of a rental by itself. Otherwise, well, it will take a complex audience to appreciate all of Bubba Ho-Tep. Funny and moving, silly and tragic, realistic and fantastic, it somehow manages to keep everything together as it progresses from scene to scene. If you find a quirkier film this year, I congratulate you. Cult movie, you say? Well, obviously.

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